Always On is the name of a handy feature that some manufacturers have included in their devices in recent years. Like the name says, the purpose of this feature is to have the display always on and displaying information, so that you can easily check for new messages, calls, notifications or simply know the time without having to unlock your device or press anything. However, despite its usefulness, it’s not a standard feature across all devices, since it requires specific hardware – but today we’ll show you how you can get Always On working with pretty much any Android device!
In order to do this, we’ll use an app called “Glance Plus” which mimics the Always On functionality found in devices with this feature. Obviously, since you presumably do not have the required hardware, the experience isn’t exactly the same, but it’s definitely good enough and a nice approximation. So, let’s get to it. Start by downloading Glance Plus by heading over to this Play Store link. Once it’s installed, open the app and right away you will be asked to enable the necessary features:
In this case, simply enable the toggle for “Glance Plus”. Next, depending on your version of Android, you may get a request to allow certain permissions:
Allow access and you’ll be taken to the app itself:
As you can see, the app basically shows you a bunch of options and settings for you to mess around with, and little else. Due to the sheer amount of settings and options you can experiment with, things can get a bit overwhelming, so here’s the main stuff you should be taking a look at: start by enabling the toggle at the top to turn Glance Plus on. Once you do this, the app will become active and you will get a notification in your notification pane letting you know that the app is working:
Tap the notification at any time to go back to the app. You can get a preview of the app in action by tapping the three-dotted menu at the upper right:
And then choosing “Preview”, which will show you Always On in action. The way it works is simple – when you lock your phone, instead of the display turning off, this screen will appear instead. It will show you the time, date, battery, and any notifications you receive in the meantime, even if the device is locked and without you needing to press anything:
The purpose of this is so that you can get information at a glance without having to unlock your device or press a button – just look at the screen, and you will see what’s going on. Of course, eventually it will disappear and turn the display off, as staying on all the time would drain all of your battery, but that’s where the brilliance of the app comes in. In the background, with the screen off, the app will detect when you do certain actions, like when you take your phone out of your pocket, and turn on the screen for you to show you the information. To unlock the device, simply tap twice on the screen. As we will see, the app also supports gestures, but for now, let’s fiddle with the settings a bit. For example, you’ll probably want to tap “Position”:
From here, you can pick the position where the Always On display will appear. I’d advise you to enable “Random” to avoid burn-in if your device has an AMOLED screen, or just for variety’s sake. Another option worth taking a look at is “Clock Style”, which will let you choose how the clock looks, from a variety of designs:
As you can see below, picking a different style will make the design completely different from before:
There is also an option to display the calendar, and even the weather:
Besides aesthetics, there is some diversity when it comes to the actual functionality as well. Head over to the “Gesture” section and you will see that the app allows you to disable pocket detection, and also has an option to wave over the sensor to wake up the device. Basically, this amounts to simply waving over your screen – if instead of having it in your pocket you have it on the table, for example, just waving your hand over the screen will wake the device up automatically and display the app:
There are also a few features relating to the way it looks, allowing you to customize the size of the font and the brightness of the screen, as well as how long the app should wait until it turns off the screen:
In conclusion, this is all there is to getting Always On working on devices that don’t natively support it. Even though it may look complicated, due to the sheer number of options available, you’ll be glad to hear that once you manage to enable it, it pretty much works straight out of the box and the options are there just so that you can craft your own experience, as the app will work just fine out of the gate with the standard settings. Just download it and try it out – this feature definitely has its uses and it’s easy to see why it has become so popular over the years. Any questions or doubts? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!